Over the last couple of years, voice assistants have revolutionised the way we interact with technology. From smart speakers to smartphones, voice-based interfaces have become increasingly prevalent in consumer apps. As software developers strive to create more intuitive and user-friendly experiences, integrating voice assistants into their applications has emerged as a game-changer. Voice interactions are more natural and accessible than text or touch, allowing people to connect with technology in a frictionless manner. In order to fully benefit from this new technology, software developers must migrate from simple commands by designing voice assistants that prove truly helpful, trustworthy, and able to enable full self-service through “human-like”, contextual interactions.
Voice Assistant Market Overview
In 2020, there was an estimated 4.2 billion digital voice assistants being used on devices around the world. Forecasts suggest that by next year, the number of digital voice assistants will double and reach 8.4 billion units, a number higher than the world’s population. Today, there are over 110 million virtual assistant users in the United States alone, and the software is especially common on smartphones and smart speakers. Another commonplace feature where virtual assistants are growing rapidly is in electronic vehicles, which are also gaining popularity. As of 2019, Amazon’s Alexa was supported on around 60,000 different smart home devices around the world, proving once again just how popular the software has become. According to Juniper Research, consumers will spend $19 billion on voice-enabled products by 2022.
Benefits of Voice Assistants
Enhanced User Experience: Voice assistants offer a hands-free and natural way for users to interact with apps, providing a seamless and intuitive experience. By simply speaking commands or questions, users can perform monotonous tasks such as setting reminders, making reservations, checking weather updates, or controlling smart home devices. Software developers are integrating voice assistants into consumer apps to enhance usability and convenience. By leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms, voice assistants can understand and respond to user queries with remarkable accuracy. To learn more about how NLP is playing a role in harnessing smarter apps in Africa, read this blog here.
Personalisation: Through continuous user interactions, these assistants can gather valuable insights into user behavior and patterns and personalise user experiences by learning their preferences. Software developers can leverage this data to tailor app experiences and deliver personalised recommendations, content, and services.
Cross-Platform Interoperability: Voice assistants aren’t limited to a single device or platform. They can seamlessly integrate with various devices, including smartphones, smart speakers, smart TVs, and even cars. This versatility enables users to access and control apps across different devices using voice commands. Software developers are capitalising on this integration to create a unified and consistent experience across platforms. By implementing voice assistant capabilities in their apps, developers can ensure that users can interact with their applications effortlessly, regardless of the device they are using. This integration allows for a more seamless transition between devices and empowers users with greater flexibility and convenience.
Industry-Specific Apps: Voice assistants are finding applications in a wide range of industries, from healthcare to finance and e-commerce to entertainment. For example, Pillo Health helps users stay on top of their medication by measuring when it should be taken, keeping it stored, and dispensing it at the right time. In finance, voice assistants can help users track expenses, manage budgets, and access banking services securely.
Inbuilt Security Features: The latest trend in the voice assistant market is built-in security features, which aim to help users feel safer when using voice assistants. This is because 41% of consumers who use voice assistants do not feel comfortable about the privacy and confidentiality of their data. Amazon and Google are leading this wave, having released updates that put security measures in place like speaker verification and ID confirmation.
Voice assistants are revolutionising the way we interact with consumer apps, offering enhanced user experiences, personalisation, and seamless integration across devices and platforms. Software developers play a pivotal role in harnessing the potential of voice assistants and incorporating them into their applications. By leveraging this technology, developers can create user-centric apps that deliver convenience, efficiency, and a more natural way of interacting.